Vanilla Sugar Cookies are crispy on the outside, soft on the inside and have a strong flavor of vanilla. I'm drooling just thinking about them! I think I inherited my love of vanilla from my mother.
My Mom liked almost anything vanilla, so, many years ago I did some searching to find some recipes that highlighted the flavor of vanilla. I found a recipe for Vanilla Bean Sugar cookies. Yum! My recipe is a slightly altered version of the one I found.
The recipe I found uses seeds from vanilla beans. The little black flecks of vanilla seeds in the cookies is visually appealing, however, vanilla beans are expensive, so using vanilla extract works just fine. My recipe uses vanilla extract in lieu of vanilla bean seeds. I have a recipe for making your own Vanilla Extract, but it does require vanilla beans and takes a few months to make.
This recipe also uses vanilla sugar. You can see my Vanilla Sugar recipe here. You need vanilla beans to make vanilla sugar. If you don't want to make vanilla sugar, substitute the granulated sugar for the vanilla sugar and add 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla. You'll get the same rich, vanilla flavor in the cookies.
These cookies are also dipped in vanilla sugar. You can add 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla to a cup of granulated sugar, then let it air dry for about 4 hours. The sugar does clump, so you'll need to break up the clumps. You could dip the cookies in just granulated sugar, you will miss a little vanilla flavor, but the cookie would still be good.
I also altered the recipe slightly so that it is dairy-free. The original recipe called for butter. I substituted vegan butter for the butter. The recipe is equally good with butter or vegan butter. If you are not concerned with being dairy-free, then you can use butter instead of vegan butter.
My husband really likes these cookies, which kind of surprised me because he is a die-hard chocolate chip cookie guy.
I use a cookie scoop to dip out the cookie dough. I find that the cookie scoop is much faster and gives me more uniform sized cookies. It also keeps my hands cleaner.
Each cookie is shaped into a ball, then the top half is dipped into water then sugar. I shape all cookies first, then place on a cookie sheet so that I can make sure all my cookie balls are about the same size. If they are not, I pinch off some cookie dough from the larger cookie balls and add to smaller ones. If you are comfortable with your sizing, you can make one cookie ball at a time and complete the "dipping steps".
I have found that, during baking, the cookie top might shift a bit to the right or left, so the sugary top moves. By slightly flattening the cookie, it seems to keep the top more centered.
I hope you enjoy the Vanilla Sugar Cookies!
Vanilla Sugar Cookies
- 1 cup vanilla sugar
- 3/4 cup vegan butter, softened
- 2 teaspoons vanilla or, the seeds from two vanilla beans
- 1 jumbo egg
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
Before Baking Cookie Dip
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup vanilla sugar
- Preheat the oven to 375F.
- Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl.
- Add the vanilla (or vanilla bean seeds) and egg then mix until combined.
- Add the flour, baking powder and salt, beating until well mixed.
- Shape the dough into 1 1/2 - 1 3/4 inch diameter balls. I have found that a cookie scoop makes this step much faster and easier.
- Dip the top half of each ball in water then into vanilla sugar. The recipe calls for 1 cup of vanilla sugar for dipping the cookie ball. I usually start with about 1/2 cup in a bowl then add more as needed. I don't like to waste the vanilla sugar.
- Place the sugar side up onto an ungreased cookie sheet, about two inches apart.
- Using a flat bottom glass or the palm of your hand, gently, slightly press down on each cookie ball, just enough so that it has a slight flat bottom. These cookies do not spread much when baking, so flattening them some is needed.
- Bake 12-15 minutes or until the cookie edges are slightly brown.
- Let cool on cookie sheet for a few minutes, then move to cooling racks to cool completely.